It’s that time of year again… New Hampshire’s sweet season! Farmers, landowners, and families across the region have been preparing for New Hampshire’s maple syrup season for weeks. Although the weather has been unusually cold this winter, temperatures are forecasted to rise later this week kicking off the season just in time for several key events allowing you to take part in this centuries old tradition.
This Saturday, March 8th, the Monadnock Food Coop in Keene is hosting a free tour of Stuart and John’s Sugar House in nearby Westmoreland, NH (about 3 miles from the Inn) from 9am-10:15am. Watch a video of the syrup making process followed by a discussion led by seasoned maple syrup producer Stuart Adams. Then if you like, stay to purchase breakfast in their pancake house to top off this delicious experience.
The Maple syrup season is completely controlled by Mother Nature, but once it starts should last for several weeks (typically between mid-February and mid-April). Other maple syrup events in southern New Hampshire’s Monadnock Region include Stonewall Farm’s 15th Annual Sap Gathering Contest March 22nd from 9am-3pm where teams of draft horses race to collect the “sap” on a course throughout the farm’s education center. Visit their working sugar house to see how maple syrup is made, visit the farm animals and farm stand. There will be food for sale, maple syrup sundaes and hayrides too!
The weekend of March 22nd and 23rd is also New Hampshire and Vermont’s Maple Weekend where hundreds of sugar houses throughout both states are open to the public to share their knowledge and success of this ancient craft. We’re located in Walpole, NH which borders Vermont making us a great location to explore sugar houses on both sides of the beautiful Connecticut River.
If you can’t visit on either of these weekends, don’t despair. As long as the weather cooperates (temperatures below freezing at night and above freezing during the day) and the sap is running we can find you a nearby sugar house to visit. Although not the prettiest time of year (affectionately known locally as stick or mud season), a visit to Walpole, New Hampshire or the Monadnock Region during this season is well worth any effort as tasting warm maple syrup right after it’s made is an experience you’ll not soon forget!
Hope to see you here on the farm soon! Jackie, Innkeeper